QA-Z Consulting Specialists has provided information on writing an ISO 9001 compliant Quality Manual.
To an experienced professional (Quality Assurance Consultant) it may take only a week or two to write an ISO 9001 compliant Quality Manual. To a newly appointed Quality Manager who is unfamiliar with the ISO 9001 Quality Standard, this may take months.
The length of time to produce a Quality Manual is ultimately dependant upon a few factors.
For example: how familiar the Quality Manager or Consultant is with Quality Standard ISO 9001; how many processes and procedures the management may request to be written (over and above the six mandatory procedures); the complexity of the organisation’s processes, the number of locations requiring variations of the Quality Management System; the introduction and approval of any new systems or methods that need to be introduced; and the availability of top and middle management to review and approve documentation as it is produced.
Tip: Management should set a timeframe in which the Quality Manager can conduct and complete the work. It is also absolutely essential to plan resources necessary to do so. This may be training, allocation of time, money, place to write and interviews with specific top and middle management or workers.
It is vitally important in considering the writing of a Quality Management System that the writer and also the person appointed to be the Quality manager (if different) is able to thoroughly understand the standard and how to apply it to the organisation.
It can be a confusing battling with the terminology because of its broad generic nature, making it difficult to make it relevant to the organisation.
Quality Organisations can address this through the provision of on or offsite training and may be able to provide additional support throughout the preparation for ISO 9001 Certification process.
Receiving support and knowing what resources are available while writing the Quality Management System can make all the difference to completing the process within the given timeframe and making it through to certification for the entire organisation.
If time is not a factor, then ensure good planning is done in relation to keeping pace. Take time to steadily grasp the concepts, absorb and apply the intent of the Standard and careful to interpret each clause so as to develop a Quality Management System independently specific to the organisation. This will ensure it remains a user-friendly documented system.
If time is a factor to be considered, firstly, decide on a method and style of writing the Quality Manual then divide each section up into time periods, schedule appointments for interviews with various personnel within the organisation and prepare everything that may be needed to record and process the details as collected.